When I came up the house yesterday morning, my mother was in full rant mode. I encouraged her to blog about it at our new Plummer’s Hollow site.
Many schools were cancelled including Tyrone. I couldn’t believe it. In Maine, at 40 below, I removed the heater from the car engine, bundled baby Mark in layers of clothes, and took Steve to first grade and Dave to nursery school in our Volkswagen bus that never warmed up above zero during our half hour ride. No one ever talked of calling school because of the cold.
And here, one year when Bruce was off to a conference in January and the boys had to get to school on their own, I walked them the two miles down to town at zero degrees, we stopped at a restauarant and they had hot chocolate to warm up, and then they walked on to school while I walked home. I remember the hoarfrost clinging to the trees beside the river and forming on my hair. In those days, Tyrone didn’t cancel school because of the cold. No wonder kids stay indoors like their parents, mesmerized by technology and getting fatter day by day. The outdoors has become something to fear.
I feel much the same way. Pennsylvanians have always been weather-wimps, and they seem to be getting worse. Plus, weather forecasts weren’t as hysterical back in the seventies and eighties, when we regularly got alot more snow and cold than we get now. Sometime in the past ten years, I became aware of the fact that the threat of virtually any measurable snowfall, or temperatures falling below 10F, is an occasion for a “winter weather advisory,” a “winter storm warning,” or a “winter storm watch” (possibly a misuse of the National Weather Service terminology). The wind-chill factor was just beginning to take hold when I was a kid; now, it’s almost constantly on the lips of broadcasters eager to keep people inside and glued to their TVs or radios.
However, I must admit I’m not as cold-hardy as either of my parents. Both sleep with one of the windows open in their bedrooms, even at two below F with a howling wind. “Well, I have a really warm comforter,” Mom told me. “And when it’s really cold like this, I tie a sweater around my head.” Ohhhh…kay.
This seems like a good juncture to remind everyone that qarrtsiluni will be soliciting for contributions to the current theme, “Come Outside”, only through the 15th. Our guest editor, Fiona Robyn, has been doing a fantastic job acquiring, editing and assembling posts to go up at the rate of five a week; by Friday we will have welcomed our tenth new contributor since the middle of January. I hope some more of our past contributors will feel inspired to send stuff in, as well. And of course, we welcome just plain readers, too! If you like what you see there, please help spread the word.
I’ve been getting outside as I can, both to snap pictures and to do a little bit of sledding. I do wish it would warm up enough to snow some more; the snow cover we have is so thin that strong sunlight is enough to melt it off on south-facing slopes, even with temperatures in the single digits.
My apologies to subscribers for the duplicate posting. I’ll blame it on my half-frozen typing fingers.